An Essay Featured In (Re)constructing “A is A” by O.G. Rose

The VORD (Part 2)

Sections V-VIII

O.G. Rose


Photo by NASA


To review, if “similarity/difference” means “process,” we could say processes are contained within each Vector, but process isn’t what defines “the space between” Vectors. By extension, we can say that the process of Chemistry “is totally different” from the process of Biology, the process of Mind, etc. (each Vector contains a unique process, with the description of each requiring its own paper).

Where there is a “=” that doesn’t efface, there is a Vector, for there can be no equivalence within a Vector without causing effacement. And the reason the “=” doesn’t efface is because it dialectically relates to “Pure Difference” when a new Vector emerges. “Pure Difference” is a Vector, while lowercase-“pure difference” is always effaced as “pure difference” (identical logic applies to “Sameness” versus “sameness”). This in mind, we can write:

(Lowercase) similarity/difference = process (within a Vector)
(Lowercase) sameness and pure difference = effacements (within a Vector)⁷
(Uppercase) Sameness/“Pure Difference” = Vectors (themselves)

When a process in a Vector gives rise to a “Pure Difference,” there is an Event, which is to say there is a new Vector. This is extremely rare, as both Bard and Elung stress, but when it occurs, there is a new “=” which defines the new Vector to itself. However, this “=” is experienced automatically as a “Pure Difference” with the other Vector(s), and arguably it is predominately experienced as a “Pure Difference,” hence why I think it is justified to primarily refer to a Vector as “a difference of difference.”

Audio Summary

We have already described how understanding could be possible between Vectors even though they are “Purely Different,” but we are yet to describe how transitions occur, which is basically to ask how processes bring about Emergences. This is Question 2 and the topic to which we will now turn, though please note that the following is my response to the problem of “How transition could be possible between Vectors?” versus say what Bard or Elung support. They may both disagree with my formulations, easily offering stronger and more coherent alternatives. Ultimately, I defer to them.

If Physics is “totally different” from Chemistry, how did Chemistry “Emerge” out of Physics? Surely some degree of “similarity/difference” must be present for any “processing” to have occurred in Physics, and if that process eventually lead to an Event (of Chemistry), that Event must have had something to do with Physics. Or not? As far as I understand Bard and Elung, the main stress is on maintaining the irreducibility of Chemistry to Physics, but that doesn’t mean we cannot say that Physics somehow contributed to the Emergence of Physics. Once Chemistry arose, it “reached back” and changed the meaning of Physics in irreversible ways, thus making it seem as if Chemistry “always already” existed independent of Physics, but really it was thanks to the conditions of Physics that Chemistry could Emerge. But how exactly, and why did the universe “give rise” to these conditions? What is the “movement” and “orientation” of the universe for this to be possible?

To seek understanding is basically to seek to fill in holes of our understanding of reality. “Intellectual Processing” is like turning on lights in a dark house, one by one, until every room is lit. “Ontological Processing” seems to be something similar, but rather than fill in the dark spots in our understanding, the universe seeks to “bring into existence what is yet to exist.” When there was only Subphysics and Physics, Chemistry was “yet to be realized into existence,” a dark spot in reality of “yet to be realized possibility.” This doesn’t mean the universe “had to know” Chemistry was “a yet to be realized possibility” (or something like that), only that Chemistry had to be “somewhere in the cards” per se.

It helps me to think that an Emergence occurs to overcome what I will call “Ontological Equilibria” or “Ontological Impasses,” which are allusions to “Nash Equilibria” and “Rational Impasses,” as I discussed with Lorenzo Barberis Canonico. A Nash Equilibrium is a situation where if everyone is rational, a suboptimal outcome results: to break this “stalemate” or “impasse,” a “nonrational action” is needed (note I didn’t say “irrational”). In the same way, when being can no longer “become” something new, the answer is not for being to do “nothing” (as the answer is not for “rationality to be irrational”), but instead for being to “Emerge” to a new Vector. Since a new Vector is “totally other” from the previous Vector, it’s a kind of “relative nothing” (to the previous Vector), but at the same time it’s also a new instance of “being becoming,” and for this reason I think “Emerge” falls between “being/becoming” and “nothing,” similar to how “nonrational” falls between “rational” and “irrational.” We can thus solve “Emergence” with “nonrationality,” and as “nonrationality” solves Nash Equilibria, so “Emergence” might solve Ontological Equilibria.

As Lorenzo argues that neurodiversity can help us avoid future Nash Equilibria, so “Vector Diversity” may similarly help us overcome “Ontological Impasses.” Mind might even help accelerate New Emergences, for Mind could perhaps “arrange” Emergences without waiting on probability and “Ontological Impasses” — but I am not sure — this is a topic on which I don’t have a hard view. If somehow the universe is “toward” the realization of “maximum possible existence” (which would help explain why Emergence Vectors occur, not that this explanation is needed, and do note we don’t need some teleology if we have probability), then we can think of “Vector Diversity” as a necessary component for overcoming “Ontological Impasses” which impede that full manifestation and knowability. Anything that can happen will happen over enough time, and Emergent Vectors would suggest the knowability of the universe never must end with an Ontological Impasse.

Being is always “becoming,” but perhaps as “becoming” starts to “run out” and turn into “mere being” (which would be an effacement), it must “Emerge” to continue “becoming” (and so “be itself”), as rationality must “act nonrationally” once a Nash Equilibrium is encountered so that rationality can perpetuate. In other words, being must “(be) be-coming” to continue to be, and as the more potential of a Vector is realized, the need for an Emergence increases so that being can keep becoming and be (versus dissolve according to entropy): as more of what can be Physical “is,” the likelihood of the Emergence of Chemistry increases until the Emergence indeed occurs or an entropic end transpires. Now, to stress, I’m not eager to say the Emergence must occur (“increasing probability” isn’t determinism, for “what will occur over enough time” isn’t guaranteed “enough time”), and I might even be wrong to say there is an “increased probability” of it occurring — I’m not sure — but it’s certainly the case that if we are here “now,” then the Vectors of Subphysics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Mind did somehow Emerge, which is to say that being did something “non-being-esq” (like “rationality” doing something “nonrational”).⁸

In this possible schema (though metaphoric), when Physics was “the top” of “The Vector Tower,” the “process” (of similarity/difference”) which defined that Vector commenced and perpetuated freely until it encountered an “Ontological Impasse,” the ontological limits of Physics (to itself). Perhaps Physics “bounced off” this limit a few times (perhaps increasingly “harder” as the potential of Physics “ran out” and its “becoming” headed increasingly toward “mere being”), but eventually Physics “Emerged” (“acted non-being,” relative to itself), and thus the Vector of Chemistry began (“Sameness/‘Pure Difference’ ”). Then, the “becoming” of the universe could continue through Chemistry until Chemistry began “bouncing off” its own Ontological Impasse. “Pressure” gradually increased against this Impasse, and eventually another Emergence (“act of “non-being”) occurred, bringing about Biology — on and on. Step by step, “The Vector Tower” so came to rise.

All well and good, but why can’t the universe simply head toward “mere being?” Aren’t I making it sound like the universe entails a “telos” and purpose to “bring about possible maximum existence” (which sounds theological)? A strong critique, and I can understand where it is coming from. However, the fact we “are” means the universe “did” Emerge Vector by Vector to us (following Vector Theory), but that doesn’t mean it had to follow this course (I am Hegelian, in this way: progress is never necessary). Even if the universe “did” overcome all Ontological Impasses, it does not follow that it “had to” (and forgive me for making the universe in my language sound like a person — grammar is a difficult opponent to beat, as Nietzsche knew, though easy to kill into gibberish). Still, the fact the universe “did” would give us reason to think that there is “something about the universe” which seeks “maximum possible existence,” which is to say that there is “something about the universe” which wants everything that can exist to exist (otherwise, why didn’t the universe just stop with the first Vector?).

Now, I use the word “want” in the last sentence tentatively, for what I have described could occur simply according to probability, without any need to ascribe to the universe any kind of “purpose,” “nature,” or “consciousness.” Over enough time, anything that can happen will happen, so if there are somehow solutions to various Ontological Impasses contained in the universe (and corresponding Vectors), assuming it isn’t somehow destroyed (or entropy prevails), the universe will eventually “Emerge” past those Ontological Impasses.⁹ However, this doesn’t mean that “all possible Emergences” must eventually occur, for again it is perhaps possible that the universe could be destroyed before such occurs. My point is mainly that if we accept that the universe is in a constant state of flux and “becoming” through time, then this alone can provide us the mechanics we need for “Emergences” (as a result of “pressures” building up against Ontological Impasses).

(Moving forward, please note that though I have been using the terms interchangeable, I am going to signify lowercase “sameness” with a slash through it as “sameness,” and “pure difference” as “pure difference.” Uppercase “Sameness” and “Pure Difference” will be different though and always refer to Vectors, for the dialectic of Sameness/“Pure Difference” keeps Vectors from effacement.)


Alright, all good and well, but a more particular and precise mechanism on how “Emergent Vectors” arise is needed. Fair, and I stress again that the following is according to my own hopes for overlaying the works of Alex Ebert with Vector Theory and is easily erroneous. I will assume the universe is indeed “toward” increasing intelligibility, which is to say that the universe is “more realized, unveiled, and/or known through time.” My justifications for this assumption are based on probability, as described in Section V, and on the idea that potentiality seems unstable and “toward” realization (like “nothingness” according to Dr. Lawrence Krauss, though I am no expert on the topic). The universe creates and unveils more with time, not less, though of course everything which comes into being is only ever known “through a glass darkly.” That said, “the raw existence” of things themselves increases with time, and even if things fade away or go extinct, they did exist for a time, which is to say that the universe did bring them about.

As we’ve noted, “Intellectual Processing” and “Ontological Processing” both entail a similar movement of “coming together” which results in a paradoxical “breaking apart” and/or “breaking through” precisely to avoid effacement. The universe “breaks through” “Ontological Impasses” to keep “becoming” from falling into “mere being” (while each Vector internally does something similar according to “processes of similarity/difference”), while ideas also oscillate between sameness and pure difference to maintain intelligibility. This suggests there is a “harmony” between the nature of the universe ontologically and epistemology, which might be a reason we can operate successfully. If ontology and epistemology operated radically differently, we might not be able to make sense of our lives.

I want to stress: I am not arguing that the universe knowingly seeks “being fully understood,” only that things in the universe naturally seek more understanding and/or realization than less, and that over enough time, these things will increasingly realize all possible potentials (if the universe continues to be(come)). The universe does not need a mind of its own or some telos: probability, action, and time seem to be enough for the universe to “become more realized through time.” Probability, action, and time together give the universe a “towardness without telos” (not to say there couldn’t be a telos, but that’s another topic for another time), and this “towardness” is thanks to which both “Intellectual Processing” and “Ontological Processing” (which generates Vectors) are possible. What defines this “towardness” is a “bringing together” which paradoxically unveils “sameness” and “singularity” to actually be “similarity/difference,” the realization of which means there is an increase in difference. The universe, in seeking to enact and know “all of its possible self,” does so by increasing difference in the very act of bringing things together “in itself.”

To visualize what I’m describing, consider the following:

Please note that I intended what is depicted above to be overlain with Alex Ebert’s “Theory of Total Relations” and “FreQ Theory,” both of which can be found at his Substack and/or The Stoa. The visual above is named after Leibniz of “On Analysis Situs,” but what Mr. Ebert’s argues is intended to overlay with it, seeing as a critical point of this whole paper is to find ways to bring together “Vector Theory” and “The Theory of Total Relations.”

Alex Ebert stresses how there is no such thing as nothing (on IDW), citing the work of Neil Tyson and others to make the point. I agree with him: instead, as Ebert notes, when we discuss “nothing,” we are discussing “nondifferentiation,” which is located both in “pure difference” and “sameness” (Ebert also wrote that ‘ ‘something’ can only appear to become nothing by dissipating into a phenomenological background,’ bringing to focus a distinction between “the implicit” and “the explicit” which I personally find useful). A few quotes from Ebert to help elaborate:

‘The law of entropy means energy in a system will seek equilibrium — undifferentiated sameness of energy — and that equilibrium of sameness is what we would call death, or what entropy-fiend physicist Sean Carroll calls “uninterestingness” — the endgame of entropy.

‘Yet because of the first law of thermodynamics stating that nothing can be destroyed, that endgame of entropy — that “death” — is, in ontic terms, only “uninteresting” or “nothing” due to its total uniformity of energy. (Hence “total relation” is a total relation of energy equaling “nothing.”)

‘Lastly — most cosmologists believe that the total energy of the universe is zero. This means basically that everything in the universe is energetically zero — if you took the total energy of the universe (given a well-defined universe and Lorentz Invariance), mathematically all of the energies would cancel out to actual zero — nothing. As Lawrence Krauss explains, that “zero” is what yields everything in the physical universe.’

For this reason, the above graphic does not describe entities as “oscillating between something and nothing,” but instead between “sameness” and “pure difference,” with entities never quite reaching either, because if they “are” they are not effaced. (Ebert also notes how Nietzsche’s quote on “starring voids” takes on a whole new meaning once we accept “nothing isn’t nothing” — a point I enjoyed.) Alexander Bard agreed with Ebert on the “Intellectual Dark Web” (IDW), claiming that the statement “there is no nothing” ultimately means “everything is in flux” and/or “everything oscillates.”

For Mr. Ebert, a decrease in difference necessitates an increase in relation. This is ultimately because “there is no nothing,” so there are basically two options: increases in difference or increases in relation. Funny enough though, when something is “purely different,” then it only relates to itself, and thus is all the same. “Bringing” things together unveils difference more than sameness (at least ontologically and intellectually, though “practically too). We tend to think that “bringing together” unveils similarity and sameness, but strangely things are “most similar” when they are the same, and (a sense of) sameness is only possible where things are totally apart (as Leibniz shows). When things are together, we see they can’t be the same, for otherwise there wouldn’t be “things” to be together, just “a thing” “being together as itself” (don’t forget though that “individual things” are also “concerts” of differences, strangely). Closing and reducing distance increases difference, and yet “pure difference” is an effacement (“pure difference”) (unless a Vector emerges (“Pure Difference”)). This would be thanks to a negation/sublimation, and critically such a negation/sublimation could not occur except by a “closing of distance to increase difference.” Again, we tend to associate “closing distance” with “increasing sameness,” but really it’s by “increasing distance” that we “increase sameness.” In this way, unity unveils difference. “Distance” and “difference” share an inverse relationship: they do not correlate (an act which we traditionally associate with “reducing difference” is actually the act which “increases difference” and its meaning).

There were many claims there, and all of it is inspired by and thanks to the incredible Anthony VZ Morley, author of Analysis of Situation and brilliant Gottfried Leibniz scholar. I would encourage everyone to read his work for themselves, which I elaborate on in “The Trinitarian and Metageometrical Ontology of Gottfried Leibniz,” though I add nothing Morley doesn’t say himself more brilliantly. Here, I will list out a few main concepts to proceed with this paper:

1. Entities can “practically be” the same when apart (though not technically).

2. To determine they are the same, entities would have to “be” together, which would precisely unveil they cannot be the same. (For things to come together, they must be things not “a thing.”)

3. As entities approach where “sameness” can be determined, difference increases. (Difference increases “toward” sameness.) The fact things are different is why they can approach where “sameness can be determined,” but difference is also what unveils things not to be the same. (“The possibility” negates “the actualization.”)

4. Things have “reason to come together” to determine sameness because they entail similarity (similarity suggests the possibility of sameness). And yet the more “similar” things become, the more they approach where it can be determined that they “must only be similar” (and thus entail difference). As similarity increases, so it must be accepted that similarity cannot become sameness. In other words, if things are increasingly similar, that means they are “running out of options” and chances to “be(come) the same.” It’s like trying to find “the right outfit” by trying on another shirt, another pair of pants — the more we try, the more we increasingly discover that we don’t have “the right outfit.” We’re running out of options. Likewise, the more things become “similar” and don’t “become the same,” the more it becomes clear that things cannot become “the same,” that this option isn’t available to them. Thus, “similarity” practically functions as an opposite of “sameness,” for increases in similarity are always revelations of difference.

5. Because things cannot be the same, things have “reason to differentiate” to determine their difference: difference suggests the possibility of “pure difference.” And yet the more “different” things become, the more they approach where it cannot be determined that they are different, because they lose the capacity to relate to other things to so define themselves. Relation requires similarity for the relation to be possible, and as similarity lessens in favor of difference, so too lessens the possibility of relation by which difference can be determined to in fact be different.

6. Things approaching “pure difference” increasingly become “all there is,” and if a thing is “all there is,” then everything is the same. Sameness is an effacement, because a thing cannot be a single thing and have being (for all being that isn’t (relative) nothing is becoming, and becoming inherently requires multiplicity, for there must be x and y for x to become y). No entity would “hold” together and every part would become a part without a whole, and thus everything would become a whole and its “own universe.” In that state, everything would undergo its effacement independent of everything else, and independent as such, “be” the only effacement. Also, “negation” without relation becomes impossible, for there is no multiplicity which could cause a negation, and thus there can be no sublation. Effacement would be the only possibility, and it would occur for all “non-parts” alone and to themselves (as “all there is” — “all that is” would each be “all that was.”). To put this another way, if everything is a multiplicity (an A/B), then for everything to lose the capacity to relate via “too much difference” would be for everything to cease being a multiplicity, which would be for everything to cease being itself. Thus, “difference” practically functions as an opposite of “pure difference,” for increases of difference are always revelations of similarity in requiring there to be relations for difference to be different.

These ideas in mind, consider the following:

As we move “toward” “sameness,” there is paradoxically an emphasis on growing “difference” (though “similarity” is still present, thus the signifier “(similarity/)difference”), yet while we move “toward” “pure difference,” there is an emphasis on growing “similarity” (thus, “similarity(/difference)”). As things move toward “sameness,” a tension and force builds up between them that eventually “pushes them away” back in the direction of “pure difference”; as things approach “pure difference,” tension again builds up until things are “pushed away again” back in the direction of “sameness” — on and on. What do I mean by this? Well, thinking of magnetic charges might help.

Let us associate “sameness” with a “negative charge” (-), while “pure difference” is a “positive charge” (+). “Sameness” is a “loss of a distinct entity,” so it’s a kind of loss, while “pure difference” gains distinction. Please note this is intentionally paradoxical: I am aware many people associate “coming together” with “being positive” and “becoming more different” as “being negative.” But this paradox is highlighted by the fact that we should associate “similarity” with a “positive charge” (+) and “difference” with a “negative charge” (-) (in line with Leibniz). This means that “difference is attracted to sameness” while “similarity is attracted to pure difference,” and since all of us are a “similarity/difference process,” we all consist of both charges in ourselves (tensely). However, the two charges vary in strength and intensity, and this is critical for understanding how “force builds up” and entities “move.”

Consider the following, which zooms in on a small section of the above graphic but applies just as well to the whole thing:

Within a given entity, “the negative force of difference” increases as we approach (negative) “sameness,” while “the positive force of similarity” decreases (do note that since “similarity” and “difference” entail opposite charges, we could say that entities hold together as “similarity/difference,” which suggests inherent tension). “Similarity” is the opposite of “sameness” (as we paradoxically learn from Leibniz), and so attracts to “sameness,” while “difference” is the opposite of “pure difference,” and thus attracts to “pure difference.” As “similarity” loses force because of “increasing difference” (paradoxically in approaching the possibility of determining sameness), a “repelling force” begins to build up between it and sameness (against effacement) until the given entity can no longer push forward and is repelled away (do note this is a good thing, because if the given entity advanced too much, it would undergo effacement). At this point near sameness, the force of “difference” is powerful, and it finds itself with great force to “be pulled toward” “pure difference,” which is the opposite of “difference” (-) and thus attracts it (+). But as an entity approaches “pure difference,” its “similarity” increases over its “difference,” and “similarity” (+) has a positive charge like “pure difference” (+). Thus, a “repellent force” begins to build up until the given entity cannot push against that force anymore, at which point it is “repelled back off” in the direction of (a new) “sameness” (we learn from Hegel that we can never “return,” only “(re)turn”). This suggests a possibility of “change” (and even progress) as entities move “up” the graphic, as will be explored shortly.

“The closer” two things become, “the closer” they also come to merging (or “thinking they can merge”), and even if such “ontological merging’ is “practically impossible,” the effects can still prove very real (“practically”). Vector differences become clear here, for it is easier to “merge” a cat and dog in my mind than to merge them in physical reality, but regardless the Vector, all “merging efforts” bring with them a tension. The things brought together feel like they want to “push apart,” and they typically do: though I can imagine “a merged cat and dog” when I put effort into it, five minutes later, when I’m living my normal life again, I go back to thinking about dogs and cats as separate. What merges mentally does “push apart,” and the same thing seems to occur across Vectors (identical DNA fails to differentiate itself and advance through natural selection; identical chemicals fail to combust; identical cultures end up fighting due to Girardian mimetics; and so on). Full combinations and “merging events” don’t seem to occur (this would be a perhaps “mini-Third Impact”): what we call “merging events” tend to just be examples of “Singularity” or “Harmony” (as described in “The Noumenon Frame” by O.G. Rose). I might be wrong, but that seems to be the case.

Two things that are far apart cannot “approach merging,” but things that are close together “increase difference.” “The possibility of merging” and “the meaningfulness of difference” correlate and increase together, which is to say the difficulty of “merging” increases as does the possibility of its occurrence. “Merging” doesn’t become easier the closer we get to achieving it, but harder, and ultimately proves impossible without causing “effacement.” Because of this, tension and force build as “merging” is approached (remember what we said about negative and positive charges), and when this force becomes too great, the things approaching one another “explode” apart “toward” “pure difference.” But as they approach “pure difference,” since “pure difference” is also an “effacement,” force and tension build up until the things are “pushed back” again “toward” one another and merging (“sameness”). And as they approach one another, tension builds up again, and the process repeats.

In the following visual representation, each “dot” represents a given person or thing which starts off at different locations and proximities to “pure difference” and “sameness” (in the midst of (their) “similarity/difference”). The lines from the dots then depict various movements and trajectories, the length and width of which are relative to momentum and conditioned by the entities themselves:

The dots all have different sizes and speeds (relative to what they “are”), and so we cannot say each dot is “the same” as the others (there is no sameness, after all). Given the differences in their “starting calibrations,” they each move following different paths, but all of them share a “pattern” (that uniquely manifests with each) of being attracted toward “sameness” until eventually being pushed away toward “pure difference’ (to avoid “effacement”), only to be eventually pushed away from “pure difference” back toward “sameness” — on and on. Now, the dots which start closer to “pure difference” seem to have “wider arches” then the dots which start in the middle, and that would be because the force of “pure difference” pushing each dot is stronger, and so it can build up momentum to approach “sameness” closer. The same logic can apply to dots which start closer to “sameness.”

However (and this is critical), the angle of the arches is not determined, for there is randomness and “free will” (at least in the Vector of Mind, suggesting Vector uniqueness) which means each dot can “self-cause” itself and give itself more or less momentum. Though a dot which starts closer to “pure difference” may naturally have more momentum toward “sameness” then a dot which starts more in the middle, the dot which starts closer to “pure difference” can “slow itself down” and so forgo that momentum, making the dot which starts more in the middle perhaps have a wider arch. Entities do have levels of control, but the closer entities are too “sameness” or “pure difference,” the more they will be influenced and “pushed” (to “choose”) to start moving in the other direction. Having “free will” is not the same as having “total will,” as hopefully “(Free) Will” by O.G. Rose makes clear, which argues for “Directionalism” (a topic I will not elaborate on here).

Also, it would seem to me that entities start more “toward the bottom of the above graph” and with a starting orientation “toward” “sameness” (it seems things don’t naturally start “toward” “pure difference,” but I don’t have a hard position on this — it seems like most things are like babies who are born immediately seeking “Oneness” with Mom). Things then move toward that (first) “sameness,” only to be eventually repelled away toward “pure difference” (or else suffer effacement). Now, strangely, things seem to start with this orientation precisely because they start with “a sense of difference and division,” which propels them to seek “sameness” (“oneness,” “wholeness,” etc.). For example, the child is born with a sense of separation that compels the child in the direction of “Primordial Unity”; to offer another example, reason has a sense of not understanding what it is “thrown” into (Heidegger), and thus reason seeks a “Theory of Everything” to gain a foundation for itself; we experience our “lack” and then hunt for a relationship, job, or the like which can fill this “lack”; and so on — we can view the entire movement of spacetime as “toward” “bringing things together,” an act which strangely increases “difference” until there is a reaction and/or “change in direction” “toward” “pure difference,” the change and movement which paradoxically increases “similarity” until there is another reaction and/or “change in direction” — on and on.

Moving forward, I would like to refer to what was described in Section VI as “The Leibnizian Magnetic Oscillation,” a concept deeply indebted to Anthony VZ Morley and Alex Ebert (“The Theory of Total Relation” and “FreQ Theory”). I will call it “The Leibniz Oscillation” for short, which I would describe as “the movement itself of ‘a dialectic of similarity/difference’ ” between sameness and pure difference. Even briefer, I will discuss LO.


At least for the Vector of Mind (we have to be careful to seek a “General Emergence Theory,” as Bard warns), as our efforts for “sameness” prove problematic, we can either push forward (and suffer effacement) or learn to instead accept “the push against us” and by extension accept its influence to “change direction.” If we do this (as we should), we will then head “toward” “pure difference,” at which point we will eventually face a similar decision. At this point, since “sameness” has already disappointed us, heading back toward it could prove especially difficult, a step which can be associated with “integrating with lack” (as discussed in “The Philosophy of Lack” series) and “returning” (as discussed regarding David Hume). Here, we can see how The Leibniz Oscillation (or LO) possibly entails progress. Entities or “dots” move upward the longer they follow their Leibniz Oscillation, and every time entities resist pushing into “sameness” and/or “pure difference,” they make progress. How they make progress, and what that means for the given entity, depends on the exact nature of that entity, but the point is that The Leibniz Oscillation isn’t an example of “going nowhere” (as isn’t Hegel’s movement toward Absolute Knowing).

Consider the following visual on how the LO progresses, starting with an “entity” at the bottom of the graphic (please note here only one “dot” is depicted, but of course in reality there would be one for each entity, thus billions):

Upward movement is progress: the entity that doesn’t oscillate away from “Pure Difference 1” toward “Sameness 2” does not undergo the same positive sublimation and transformation as does the entity which makes it all the way to “Pure Difference 4” (or 8 — the chart can extend for however long). There is a temptation in the world to never claim “this or that” is better than “this or that,” but indeed we want to advance up this chart as much as we can. Unfortunately, what seems more natural is that as soon as we start feeling heavy resistance, we stop or go back. Though most of the graphics so far have suggested an “upward movement,” I fear most of us (in Mind) end up like some of the dots depicted here:

Some dots advance beyond “Sameness 1” and “Pure Difference 1” only to be caught in a regressive loop between “Sameness 2” and “Pure Difference 1” (perhaps coming to believe, upon encountering S2, that maybe something was missed with PD1). Others advance far, all the way to around PD3, only to fizzle out there (perhaps due to death), while others make it to around PD4. The difficulty of advancing increases the “higher” an entity advances up the chart. Moving from S1 to PD1 is easier than moving from PD1 to S2, and so on (there could even be a compounding effect). Though earlier charts depicted a very “smooth movement” up the graphic, at least when it comes to the Vector of Mind, the movement is much more diverse and possibly regressive.

A few notes of clarification:

1. The entity itself that constitutes the temptation of “Sameness 1” (say family) could also be the entity constituting “Sameness 4” if we are “toward” the entity in a new and different way. “Orientation” is primary in our movement, with the entities themselves being secondary.

2. We don’t as humans at least (according to the Vector of Mind) simply stop wherever and whenever we want, so there is something “magnetic” about the LO. However, that doesn’t mean we are “determined” to be pushed upward: we must choose if we “identify with the oscillation” and “go with the flow.”

3. As we approach “sameness,” since we grow in “difference,” and because “sameness” and “difference” share “the same magnetic charge,” per se, then we will be pushed away from effacement in a possibly progressive direction. It’s almost like ontology has built into it a kind of “warning system” to keep us from going too far into what we naturally want. Yes, our being is naturally “toward” effacement (“a death drive”), but as we approach it, it seems there is “something ontological” that starts “pushing us back” (“a life drive,” perhaps?). Perhaps this is only present in Mind, but my point is that the LO does not depict “a trap,” for both “sameness” and “pure difference” push us away as we approach them (through pain, hardship, etc. — warning shots, almost, suggesting that reality expresses “kindness” in our very hardship). Thus, they aren’t traps, but mistakes that making requires us to “will against the forces pushing against us.” In this way, if we fall into effacement, though there are forces making us “toward” it, the mistake is ultimately on us. We are ultimately responsible, even if we are not responsible for our directions.

Our task is to perhaps identify with the Leibniz Oscillation, which entails “integrating with lack,” for accepting the LO “negates” from ourselves the possibility of “sameness” and “pure difference,” for we are accepting that they will always be effacements (against the temptation to really “find out for ourselves,” which we will always have space to consider doing, since “ideas are not experiences”). In undergoing this “negation,” it can thus be a “sublimation” for the entity to advance “higher” (as depicted in the chart above), refacing the temptation in new and different ways, against new and different possibilities of “sameness” and “pure difference” (which indeed will be temptations, precisely because “ideas are not experiences,” and thus it will always be possible for us to think that “this time is different,” which hints at why history tends to repeat).

In Phenomenology of Perception, Merleau-Ponty discusses how we naturally position ourselves in the world to “optimize our relations.” When we are looking at a painting, we naturally step toward it, step away from it, and so on until we find “the right distance” to really “get” the painting. When we are around people, we similarly position ourselves so that we are not too far or too close; when we are listening to music, we naturally sense the right kind of music to play and at what volume; when we are in a meeting, we naturally intuit how we should sit, how we should look at people, how we should speak, and so on. Merleau-Ponty considers “the body” the main source of this constant positioning and repositioning so that we “fit ourselves” into relations to people and objects in a way that is most “fitting.” This self-calibration comes naturally, and we hardly must be taught it at all.

However, when it comes to our more mental pursuits and finding the right dialectical balance between “similarity” and “difference,” I’m not sure if we “naturally” sense the right calibration. In fact, we seem naturally “toward” seeking sameness to the point of effacement, and our natural “reaction” to realizing “sameness is impossible” is to then seek “pure difference” to the point of effacement. “Accepting the flow” of the Leibniz Oscillation is not natural, as it is not natural to accept a life of “active thinking,” which is required for “integrating with lack.” It will require facing our neurosis and pathologies, as described throughout the work of Cadell Last, David Hume, and many others: the right “calibration” does not come naturally to us, as perhaps comes our “bodily positioning.” We must go on a journey from which we can only (re)turn.


Alexander Bard warns that we must avoid “A General Emergence Theory,” which I take to mean we cannot search for “a single description” which works to describe the internal operations of each Vector. Doesn’t the Leibniz Oscillation fall into that mistake? It would seem that way, but I would argue that claiming there is a movement and process of “similarity/difference” which oscillates between “Sameness” and “Pure Difference” is very general, and that also it is a description which mainly applies to “raw materiality” (which seems Physical) and “raw intelligibility” (Mind). To say, “Two elements of aluminum cannot be the same entity,” is not to claim a full description of “The Bayer Process” — that’s an entirely different matter that requires an entirely different and unique description. However, it should be noted that any and every chemical process entails a tradeoff (and even oscillation) between “similarity” and “difference,” which is because Chemistry “embodies” Physics. The foundation and source for “the similarity/difference process,” which everything in the universe seems to “embody,” is either the Physical or Subphysical Vector — I am not sure — however, either way, this means basically everything we encounter and experience (“meaningfully,” thanks to Mind) follows a structure of “similarity/difference oscillating between Sameness and Pure Difference.”

But, again, doesn’t the LO constitute “A General Emergence Theory?” I don’t believe so, because it is simply a process and oscillation that much (perhaps all) of our universe “embodies” because Physics is so foundational on “The Vector Tower” (please note I am going to associate the process with Physics versus Subphysics because I know less about Subphysics, but this point is open to correction without overturning the presented logic). Though I agree with Bard that we cannot find a theory of operation which works the same way relative to every Vector (because something “new” has to Emerge to make that Vector itself), it would seem to me that “higher Vectors” will have “formal similarities” to lower Vectors precisely because they “embody” lower Vectors. So, for example, though Chemistry, insomuch as it “embodies” Physics, will be describable according to The Leibniz Oscillation, we cannot say that “The Four Basic Reaction Types” found in Chemistry are “just” The Leibniz Oscillation. Since chemicals are physical, I would expect there to be “traces” of The Leibniz Oscillation in how they operate and exist, but I would not expect chemical reactions to be “reducible” to The Leibniz Oscillation (that would be making the mistake which Vector Theory exists precisely to stop).

Generally, the Leibniz Oscillation is what results when time meets the Law of Noncontradiction. I am not sure if “The Law of Noncontradiction” should be placed in Physics or Subphysics, and please note that I don’t mean to say that the universe necessarily had to generate the Law of Noncontradiction. I use “law” here very tentatively, for I understand the importance of “radical contingency” which Bard stresses: “laws” are only such “to us,” after the corresponding process has “Emerged” (non-deterministically). My point is only that after a Vector Emerged which made it the case that “different things couldn’t be the same thing without ceasing to be different things” (as “totally different things cannot also be things that relate enough to be identified as distinct”) then all that was needed was some form of time (such as the “hypertime” Bard discusses), and that alone would give us the LO. Please note that “The Law of Noncontradiction” is more contingent, Vector-specific, and unstable than determined and fixed, for I in the Vector of Mind can imagine 2 + 2 = 5 and an apple and pear occupying the same location on a table.

Now, having brought “The Law of Noncontradiction” (LNC) into the discussion, a few points of clarification must be introduced, as well as an explanation for why I am going to talk about “The Law of Non-Effacement” (or LNE) instead, even though what I mean by “Non-Effacement” is so similar to “Non-Contradiction.” Alexander Bard is adamant that we must avoid Platonism, and he associates “Natural Laws” with that school, hence why he is adamant we need to discuss “natural habits” versus “natural laws” (which also brings Hume to mind). Personally, I don’t think “The Law of Non-Contradiction” is the same as “The Law of Gravity,” for the LNC is simply “what follows” if things are themselves and not other things. This isn’t to say things can’t become other things, but to say that a thing which was x and becomes y cannot then also be x. However, this brings us to Hegel, who stresses the existence and reality of “contradiction” to emphasize “becoming” over “being/nothing.” This is stressed in Todd McGowan’s work, Emancipation After Hegel, and in that work Dr. McGowan points out that Hegel is not defending “logical contradiction” (which would give us permission to say whatever we wanted) but ontological paradox. Personally, I associate “paradox” with what Hegel called “contradiction,” which is described in “What is a Paradox?” by O.G. Rose (as found in (Re)constructing “A Is A”). For this reason, I don’t think discussing “The Law of Non-Contradiction” would be the same as arguing against Hegel, for I very much agree with Hegel’s thinking. Hegel is right that we are many things at the same time, and thus if I say “I am x,” seeing as I am actually more like x, y, and z, there is a “contradiction” between the thought “I am x” and the reality that I am x/y/z. Ideas and reality are always in tension, seeing as I am always moving through time and becoming what an idea of me cannot capture. However, Hegel is not saying that the idea “I am x” cannot have any truth to it whatsoever; rather, Hegel is pointing out that we always have to “act like” our idea is equivalent to the thing to which my idea refers, which is a contradiction. However, depending on how we define our terms, this is more so a “paradox” than a “contradiction,” and so I don’t think favoring LNC would be the same as arguing against Hegel. For me, a contradiction requires a shared ontology, and ideas and things are ontologically distinct. Still, there is something “contradictory” about how things are known through ideas they cannot be. We only ever know ideas “as if” they are things they cannot be, and for this reason I hold no hard position against Hegel’s language. In honor of it, I am going to focus on “The Law of Non-Effacement” (LNE) (that is more the point I am interested in anyway) which is that “things must avoid effacement to be themselves.” It is this principle that we need for “The Leibniz Oscillation”: a debate over the term “contradiction” is unnecessary.

Interestingly, we could say that the LNE is more a matter of space than time, and though we live in spacetime, it is not the case that spacetime necessarily had to arise (things could have stayed as “hypertime” forever, no Ontological Impasse ever being overcome). I agree with Bard that time is more fundamental than space, and since LNE arises with space, there would (at least practically) be no LNE if there was just time. An apple and a pear can occupy the same location across time, and it is indeed possible that multiple things become the same thing over enough time. I frankly cannot think of a single example of “possible contradiction” which could occur if there was no space, meaning the LNE would have no practical role at all. Wouldn’t it be a contradiction to say, “The past was the future?” Not relative to “pure time,” for the distinction between “past and future” easily exists only thanks to us.

I do not know if the LNE arose with Physics or Subphysics, but regardless, my main point is that I do not believe the LNE constitutes “A General Emergent Theory,” for it is very general and didn’t have to Emerge. Yes, evolution and technology cannot violate the LNE (for they “embody” lower Vectors), but it would be mistaken to think that “therefore the LNE is a General Emergence Theory.” Not at all, and by extension neither is the LO, for the LO is simply the LNE across time. If there is time, there will be change and process, both of which will occur relative to LNE.

The LO is ontologically (and perhaps ontically) significant, at least once it has been so realized “out of” radical contingency (which could change), for “things-in-themselves” cannot be “the same” nor “purely different.” The presence of a subject doesn’t change things: though quarks can perhaps be in two places at once, they cannot be “two things at once,” only “one thing at once.” Entities cannot become an entity and still be what they once were — unless that is there is some unknown law or mechanism of the universe, which of course there might be, so we must hold our conclusions with “an open hand.” This doesn’t mean things are “one” thing and not undergoing constant “becoming,” but it is to say that that “one becoming” cannot also be “another becoming” simultaneously without being a different becoming. If everything was always becoming “a different becoming,” then this would follow the “Law of Non-Effacement,” for everything is “becoming something else” not “being something else.” Following Hegel, the error of “A = A” is that it treats things “as beings” versus “as becomings”: to say “A-becoming (set) = A-becoming (set)” would not, I don’t believe, be in opposition to Hegel.





⁷Lowercase “sameness” and “pure difference” cannot dialectically relate because they efface.

⁸In my mind, regarding Emergence, I have an image of the universe “building up” against a door until the door eventually snaps open; once the universe stumbles into the new room, what’s left behind of the universe cannot fully understand what has become of the universe which slipped through the door, though the universe which “stumbled forward” to the other side of the door has a better sense of what it left behind.

⁹But can’t there be “a possible potential” that is never realized because there are no forces which make that realization possible, regardless how much time might pass? I’ve heard that argument, but for me this doesn’t count as “something which is possible.” Where there are no forces, there are not actual possibilities, only ideas of them.




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O.G. Rose

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